My granddaughter has mastered the English language quite well for a 2 year old, but she cannot say coop. So in more than one way, I have chicken poop - 12 new chicks doing what babies do and a new home under construction for them. My babies are 2 days old. We picked them up early yesterday morning from my local farm store. They were born Sunday. The yellow girls are Golden Comet, the darker striped are Araucana. I hope they are all female and the Comets probably are, but it's not quite so easy to tell the sex of the Araucana. so I may have a rooster in the bunch. I joked with my friend at the store that if I ended up with 12 roosters they are all coming back. They'll stay in the brooder (homemade) for the next 3 to 4 weeks and then head out to the new chicken yard. I should have eggs by late summer - some large brown from the Comets and green, blue and pink from the Araucanas. Being a little camera shy!
To say that we've been busy for the past month would be an understatement. As soon as the weather started to warm and the snow all melted, we started clearing a good portion of land at the top of the garden and at the bottom. The bee hives and the big compost boxes have been moved. The "chicken poop" and yard is under construction in the lower part of the photo. I've gained a tremendous amount of space for planting and adding more hives. Topbar is the next project. Bees should start swarming by the end of the month and my good friend, Kelley, is going to catch a swarm for me if I don't have one myself. I also called the pest control service in town and they will call me if anyone calls for swarm removal.
I don't usually like to cut trees, but much of what has been taken out was overgrown and dead. There were no large trees cut; only broken pines, dead hemlock, mountain laurel and rhododendron. All of the longer pieces of laurel and rhodos will be used for beans to climb on, to enclose planting areas and to make roosts and ladders in the chicken yard and coop. The larger wood is firewood. Still lots and lots of work to do, but already my garden is showing signs of being a real beauty this year. Oldtimers kept saying the snow would make for prettier plants this spring and so far they aren't wrong.
As I look across the space I now have available I'm beginning to see an area for the goats I've always wanted. My husband says, empahtically, "No Way!" But he said that about the chickens, too :)